EU provides €13 million to East Jerusalem Hospitals

PNN/ Ramallah/

The EU provided €13 million to help East Jerusalem Hospitals maintain critical medical services to Palestinians.

The EU says it supports the East Jerusalem Hospitals Network to stay open and continue providing essential care to thousands of patients from the West Bank and Gaza. These Hospitals are among the few remaining functional Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem.

The East Jerusalem Hospitals face endemic cash flow problems which put in jeopardy their operations. The EU was among the donors who responded since 2012 with regular contributions that have reached over €90 million. The EU response reflects the great importance we place on the services provided by the East Jerusalem Hospitals to all Palestinian people, including from Gaza and the West Bank. The hospitals are an integral part of the Palestinian healthcare system providing specialized services that cannot be found elsewhere.

“The EU is committed to supporting East Jerusalem Hospitals Network. It goes unquestioned that the EU is concerned about the wellbeing of Palestinians. We, therefore, work hand in hand to sustain and maintain access to medical services by all Palestinians,” said the EU Representative Ralph Tarraf. “It is imperative that East Jerusalem institutions are kept viable. This is essential to the building of a future independent Palestinian State in which citizens enjoy access to guaranteed medical services,” he added.

Background:
Most of the European Union’s assistance to the Palestinian Authority is channelled through PEGASE, the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the PA Reform and Development Plan and the subsequent Palestinian national plans and agendas. As well as helping to meet a substantial proportion of its running costs, European funds support major reform and development programmes in key ministries, to help prepare the PA for statehood. Since February 2008, nearly €2.3 billion have been disbursed through the PEGASE Direct Financial Support programmes. In addition, the EU has provided assistance to the Palestinian people through UNRWA and a wide range of cooperation projects.

The East Jerusalem Hospitals serve as the main centres for specialized care within the Palestinian health system. Patients needing services and procedures that are not available in the West Bank and Gaza – such as specialist oncology, renal care and cardiac surgeries – are referred for treatment in the East Jerusalem Hospitals Network facilities by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. There are six health institutions in East Jerusalem: Augusta Victoria Hospital, Makassed Hospital, St Joseph Hospital, St John’s Eye Hospital, Palestinian Red Crescent Maternity Hospital and Princess Basma Rehabilitation Centre.